"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are," Joseph Campbell.
This is one of my favourite quotes. Yoga allows you to feel, accept, and embody who you truly are, as does writing, as does energy healing. All of which have radically transformed my life from "losing myself" due to family and societal ideals for who I should be, and due to an environmental illness which nearly claimed my life several times.
About three decades ago, while a young writer, I got very ill from pesticides and developed MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities), all of which lead me to Yoga (as I tell about in my book Stories From the Yogic Heart).
Out of a desire to breathe deeply plus have more peace in my life, I walked into my first yoga class, walked out, went to a second one that day, and my life was never the same again.
I delved into slow, soulful yoga, and gravitated toward the most organic teachers who taught yoga not as an exercise regime, but as a dance of the soul. And, in 2011, I followed my intuitive heart to fly to California to do yoga teacher training in Freedom Style Yoga with the renowned Eric Schiffman.
Freedom style yoga, is a slow, soulful, introspective yoga that helps get you out of your mind, and into your body. It lets us feel at one with all— our soul, the infinite sky, the water, the air, and all living beings surrounding us..
I first learned this from yoga master, Eric who learned it from TKV Desikachar and his dad, the father of modern yoga, Krishnamacharya. Then he was lucky enough to meet Vanda Scaravelli who took the teachings even further and taught that yoga should be individualized for each person. Not the typical style of yoga usually taught, where you follow the rules, and just hop from one pose to another like an aerobics or dance class! wrote the pivotal book Awakening the Spine. Vanda taught her students to regard yoga as fun and organic, always emanating fro the spine, and healing at the core.
The past few years, since training with Erich in California in 2011, my yogic home has been Esther Myers yoga studio, where I am just finishing up my 800 hour yoga teacher training.
I serendipitously gravitated toward all these teachers, and they all harken back to the Desikachars (who I was also blessed to do a workshop with in 2002), as the father taught Vanda, and Vanda taught Erich, and Esther Myers, as well.
Whether you are coming to yoga to improve your breathing, as was my initial intention, or to greatly expand your consciousness, this path will take you toward both. The more you do it, the further you’ll evolve.
If you love meditation and “Union” (the definition of yoga), you will love this authentic approach.